Schneider is on a roll. Following a Geisel Award for Tales for Very Picky Eaters and a hilarious tale of just deserts in The Meanest Birthday Girl, he upends the classic monster-under-the-bed story. During the day, Arnold loves pretending to be a monster, but nighttime is another matter, what with the “terrible toe biter” lurking in his bedroom. “Are you just as scared of me as I am of you?” Arnold asks the large, purple creature with a white athletic sock hanging from a tusk. “No, of course not,” replies the monster, who is actually afraid of the “horrible tooth gnasher,” which is nervous about the “winged fargle,” and so on. Soon, Arnold’s bed is crammed with monsters, and annoyance replaces fear. Schneider expertly builds tension up to the “gotcha” ending, and his illustrations are filled with wildly imaginative perspectives, visual gags, and details, from the imaginary Fifth Avenue that Arnold trashes in the opening scene (a rubber ball stands in for the Guggenheim Museum) to the tiny butterfly wings that hold up the gargantuan winged fargle. Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Oct.)
"Schneider is on a roll. Following a Geisel Award for Tales for Very Picky Eaters and a hilarious tale of just deserts in The Meanest Birthday Girl, he upends the classic monster-under-the-bed story."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Arnold's playful imagination is evident in Schneider's watercolor, pen-and-ink, and colored pencil illustrations, and his bravery becomes obvious when he investigates the noises he hears in the night. Use this book for discussions about facing fears."
—School Library Journal
"Schneider's watercolor creatures are a darling array of beaked, winged, clawed, and blubbered goofballs, supporting the text with just the right brand of off-center quirk."
"The funny monster names and the sight of them crowded into Arnold's bed will help get scaredy-cats to read this for the first time, and once they've seen how the story turns out, they will want this worthy successor to Mercer Mayer's classic There's a Nightmare in My Closet read over and over again."
—The Horn Book Magazine
"The real show-stealers here are the monsters themselves, who are mildly frightening with their nasty teeth and horrible claws but hilarious in their worried expressions."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A nifty story about the way our imaginations can get the better of us. . .This endearing picture book for 4- to 8-year-olds proves that, among other things, mother is always right."
—Wall Street Journal
Praise for Tales for Very Picky Eaters
“Finally, a wonderfully clever book on eating right! Brilliant work from Josh Schneider!”
—Portland Book Review
“Stories with all the wit and good humor parents can often lose during dinner table battles.”
“Eager and picky eaters alike will enjoy the wordplay and outrageous situations, which create humor from a familiar source of family tension.”
“Wholly fresh and unexpected advice.”
“Sure to be a crowd pleaser.”
—School Library Journal
PreS-K—Arnold knows he has nothing more to be afraid of at bedtime after the winged fargle, the horrible tooth gnasher, the grozny buzzler, and other monsters with their own fears crawl into his bed. These colorful figures lurk in the darkest corners of bedrooms, but, as Arnold discovers, the scary creatures have more in common with him than he could have imagined. Seeing these silly-looking beasties jumping at noises and hiding under the covers will help dispel any fears children may have about their own made-up critters. Arnold's playful imagination is evident in Schneider's watercolor, pen-and-ink, and colored pencil illustrations, and his bravery becomes obvious when he investigates the noises he hears in the night. Use this book for discussions about facing fears.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Since a monster lurks somewhere in the room of nearly every lively child at bedtime, another book about the experience is inevitable. When Arnold tries to delay his bedtime, his mother offers him the universal parental commonplace about dealing with fears, in this case, the monster that bites off toes: "I'm sure he's just as scared of you as you are of him." Of course, as soon as the light is out, the terrible toe biter appears, followed by the horrible tooth gnasher, the winged fargle and the grozny buzzler. Each takes refuge from the next under Arnold's covers. But it's Arnold, known for his destruction of New York (seen in the opening pages as an imaginative, playful rampage with block towers) and his biting off of animal heads (his bedtime cookie snack), the monsters fear most. Arnold's revelation of his identity sends the monsters back into the camouflage of his nighttime room, their outlines visible against the slightly open door of the closet, the radiator knob, the mobile above Arnold's bed and the toy under the bed. Schneider's cartoon style and plain, sturdy boy (with no pupils, like Little Orphan Annie) allow the only slightly scary monsters to stand out a bit--each quite different from the next. Sure to be someone's first choice of bedtime tale for a few nights. (Picture book. 3-6)